When we last checked in with the evolving lawsuit that Paramount and CBS filed against the creators of Star Trek fan film Axanar, things weren’t looking so hot for DIY producer Alec Peters. In a ruling chockablock with Trek puns, the judge declared that a jury of Peters’ peers would be responsible for determining whether his film infringed upon Paramount’s legal copyrights in terms of actual people, places, and things (“objective substantial similarity”) as well as overall spirit and feel of the Star Trek franchise (“subjective substantial similarity”). I’m no legal professional, but even this layman could see pretty plainly that Peters’ ass was legal grass, and Paramount was preparing to mow it.
Foreign films have historically done pretty well in the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards, with at least one import usually squeezing into the nominations alongside the latest pictures from Disney or Pixar. Last year included Brazil’s Boy and the World as well as Japan’s When Marnie Was There, and while the likes of Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Finding Dory and Zootopia have all but sewn up their nominations for the 2017 ceremony (check back on the 24th to find out!), that leaves room for one wild card. It could be The Red Turtle, the latest animated film with a Studio Ghibli pedigree, or it could be a poignant and sweet little Swiss picture My Life as a Zucchini.
The 1988 caper comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a cracking good time, pairing Steve Martin and Michael Caine as a pair of no-good con men fleecing rich old ladies on the shores of the French Riviera. The mismatched duo — Caine’s the image of suave refinement, Martin’s an inveterate ham — team for one big score, but a mysterious rival con artist known as “The Jackal” complicates matters. Also a good time: the Broadway musical based on the film, the 1964 Marlon Brando picture Bedtime Story that inspired Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and now we can add to that list Nasty Women.
The last time was saw Jack Nicholson on the big screen was 2010, in James L. Brooks’ middling dramedy How Do You Know. He played a weaselly white-collar crook who asks his son to take the rap for a crime he committed, in a performance characterized by the usual Nicholsonian deviousness. The movie didn’t make too much of a splash, forgotten after a few weeks taking up space in cineplexes. That film may take on an unexpected tragic air in light of the breaking news that it may contain Nicholson’s swan song.
The people have been making some pretty questionable choices for themselves as of late. Some big politics thing is happening tomorrow, there’s that, and last night marked the 43rd Annual People‘s Choice Awards, the populist awards program that does away with the snooty prestige of the Oscars. The evening delivered some rather eyebrow-raising results in its recognition of the most widely beloved entertainers of the year, and though none quite confounded on a Trumpian level, the night was full of what we’ll diplomatically call “surprises.”
Forcing audiences to watch a movie in which a dog lives, finds true happiness, and then dies over and over again would’ve been an act of sadism all on its own. But the crew of the upcoming family film A Dog’s Purpose have recently been outed as sadists of another, more stomach-churning sort. TMZ posted a shocking video from a second-unit shoot for the film in which an animal handler forces a reluctant German Shepard into rushing waters, the dog begins drowning, and handlers rush to retrieve the animal amid cries of “cut it! cut it!” PETA has already called for a boycott of the film, with the most shame heaped upon the industry supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited, and the rest of the fallout has been swift.
A little less than a week ago, the internet got an eyeful of the trailer for the upcoming remake of seminal ’70s buddy cop program CHiPS. The response was, to put it diplomatically, varied — many groaned at the film’s decision to trot out hoary gay-panic gags, disappointed to learn that Hollywood has not left the whole “two heterosexual men frightened of each other’s bodies” schtick behind. Others, such as star Dax Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell (a skilled comedic actress in her own right, portraying Shepard’s wife in the film), presumably told him it looked real good and she couldn't wait to buy a ticket. One person has been surprisingly vocal in his distaste for the film, however.
Good news: fans are finally getting their shot to lay claim to two highly sought-after pieces of comic book memorabilia, with George Reeves’ original Superman costume and the Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton during his stint as the Batman both up at auction until January 26. The bad news: you’re going to have to part with at least tens of thousands of dollars if you want to get your mitts on that spandex.
It’s been a topsy-turvy week for awards prognosticators, relative even to the usual topsy-turviness of an industry based entirely on guesswork and speculation. Deadpool frightened and confused Oscar oddsmakers when it unexpectedly snatched up a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild Awards program on Tuesday, and then officially rejiggered everyone’s slate of predictions when director Tim Miller earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America. What had been all but forgotten as a superhero oddball is staging a late-phase charge among the groups of professionals that vote for Oscar nominees — nothing is out of the question.
Chances are, you’re currently reading these words on a phone, computer, or tablet manufactured by Apple. Maybe on your morning commute, you listen to music downloaded from the ITunes Music Store. If you are an on-the-go sort of person who’s not afraid to be made fun of, you may have an Apple Watch wrapped around your wrist right now. The tech giant’s influence has permeated so many facets of modern life, and as we patiently await Apple’s big foray into the burgeoning field of teledildonics, they’ve announced plans to plant their flag on one more heated battlefield.
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